Benefits to senior citizens…..Give us the respect we deserve!

This post has been doing the rounds on Whatsapp since the last few days. I did not forward it as I wanted to see for myself whether it was true. Just yesterday I bought a ticket for my mother in law, aged 90. To my absolute shock and horror, I saw the lines printed on the ticket …. ‘ Are you aware that 43% of your fare is borne by the common citizens of the country?”
My question is …. Is the concession given to senior citizens of this country a courtesy extended to us out of respect and regard for our advanced age, or is it alms given out of pity for the aged and infirm?
Senior Citizens
Countries across the world provide extra benefits and concessions to their older citizens. India is simply following international norms and courtesies in doing the same. In fact respect for elders has been an enduring Indian tradition. So …. why this boorish attempt to make senior citizens feel guilty for receiving a concession that they justly deserve in return for the years they have spent in developing this country and bringing up and guiding the next generation. This is not a handout … it is a well earned reward.
I suggest that the Government of India withdraw this concession, if it so wants. We will not mind. But will the Govt. simultaneously add the following words on bills issued to all those privileged persons who dine in the Parliament canteen …. ” Are you aware that the subsidy amount of your food is borne by the common citizens of the country”?
Also will the government please write to all MPs and MLAs and other government officials, while giving them free passes for travelling by train and aeroplane, that the traveling cost is borne by the common citizens of the country? Will the government consider writing the same to all the above privileged citizens to whom so many subsidies are given in their walk of life? Will the government write to all ex-MPs, MLAs, Ministers etc the same remark while paying them pension?
The Govt. needs to stop acting in a condescending manner, and stop behaving as if it is doing any favours to us senior citizens ….. Give us the respect we deserve!

I am a retired forester, with keen interest in ecology, environment and wildlife. Currently residing in Solan and working as a freelance Consultant in the above fields.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Avay Shukla

    Very well put, Pankaj, and thanks for highlighting the issue, which is a reflection of this government’s essential ethos: lack of respect for citizens and any compassion, its hypocrisy, arbitrariness and contempt for public opinion. Having failed in its tax collection and disinvestment targets it will now attempt to raise revenues by any means. Mark my words- right now it is offering a veneer of an option for the senior citizen discount on railways, but very soon it will quietly do away with this altogether. Like it did with cooking gas: on paper its subsidy is still supposed to be optional but in fact no non-BPL family gets it any more, whether he opted for it or not. This govt. does not work transparently but in insidious ways.

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